Belfast Telegraph

Martinez urges respect for Swans

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has warned that the rest of the Barclays Premier League will have to respect Swansea following Saturday's goalless draw between the sides at the Liberty Stadium.

Martinez received a good reception as he made his first return to south Wales since leaving for the DW Stadium in 2009, and saw his side pushed hard during an opening hour where the hosts were on top.

The Spaniard said: "Their team works really well, they have a great cohesion and they were so, so arrogant on the ball, which is probably the biggest strength you can have in football, and it was great to see."

Martinez added: "That is a team that is going to go from strength to strength. (Swansea manager) Brendan Rodgers is going to get this team competitive in the Barclays Premier League and it was great to see they are not scared at all.

"They are ready for the challenge and they are going to have a massive say this season, I have no doubt about that. I know that if teams don't pay respect to Swansea they will get hurt, that is quite clear, which is why Swansea will be successful this campaign.

"The transitional play they have where they leave Nathan Dyer and Scott Sinclair in one-on-one situations means they are going to be a real threat."

Swansea's familiar passing style crafted chances for Danny Graham, Scott Sinclair and Wayne Routledge as Wigan sat back and attempted to soak up the pressure, but the hosts' failure to capitalise almost proved costly.

Brendan Rodgers' side were indebted to the agility of keeper Michel Vorm, who made a wonderful save low to his right to deny Latics midfielder Ben Watson from the spot after Ashley Williams had felled former Swan Jordi Gomez in the 73rd minute.

Rodgers, meanwhile, was delighted by Swansea's display as they secured a first point of the season in the first Premier League game played outside England and believes record signing Graham is close to opening his account for the season.

"Danny is a great reference for this team," he said. "He leads the line really well, his touch is terrific and he just needed something to drop for him. He works very hard for the team, whether he scores or not he gives the maximum intensity and he will get his goal very soon.


From Belfast Telegraph